Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 10 Centimes 1795-1796, KM# 636, France
  • 10 Centimes 1795-1796, KM# 636, France

The Directory was a five-member committee which governed France from November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire (8-9 November 1799) and replaced by the Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.

Engraver: Augustin Dupré (1748–1833). He was the 14th Graveur général des monnaies (Engraver General of Currency). When the republic was proclaimed, Dupré engraved the bulk of the new revolutionary decimal currency. He introduced the 5 Franc silver piece stamped with the image of Hercules, Union et Force which marked the renaissance of the Franc, and the coins of 1 Centime, 5 Centimes, 1 Décime and 2 Décimes with the head of the Republic wearing the Phrygian cap.


Marianne wearing a Phrygian cap.

Marianne is a national symbol of the French Republic, an allegory of liberty and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty. It is a significant republican symbol, opposed to monarchy, and an icon of freedom and democracy against all forms of dictatorship. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, is engraved on French euro coins and appears on French postage stamps; it also was featured on the former franc currency.

The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap sometimes is called a liberty cap.

• Dupré ★


Facial value and the date in the French Republican Calendar, surrounded with an oak wreath.

The French Republican Calendar was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871. Years appear in writing as Roman numerals (usually), with epoch 22 September 1792, the beginning of the "Republican Era" (the day the French First Republic was proclaimed, one day after the Convention abolished the monarchy). As a result, Roman Numeral I indicates the first year of the republic, that is, the year before the calendar actually came into use.

L'AN 4•

Edge -

10 Centimes (Décime)

KM# 636 Gadoury# 184
Material Bronze
Weight 10 g
Diameter 28 mm
Thickness 2.5 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Alt # KM# 636.1, KM# 636.2, KM# 636.3, KM# 636.4
Bordeaux Mint (K)
Limoges Mint (I)
Lyon Mint (D)
Paris Mint (A)

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